captain blood by rafael sabatini

okay, let me get this out first: this book did not age well. i still enjoyed reading it though, all while seeing how it clashes with my 21st century opinions. second problem is that rafael sabatini has exactly that flowery yet repetitive language you expect from a pirate adventure paperback. don’t play a drinking game when the author starts describing a character – no matter which word you pick, a heavy toll on your liver is guaranteed.

but you didn’t pick “captain blood” for social commentary or high prose, did you? you want sails, cannons, duels – all that pirate aesthetics. fear not – that’s exactly what the book serves on a looted golden platter (there is notable absence of parrots, which i appreciated).

i have a soft spot for this book, because i first read it as an impressionable teenager. by then i already ploughed through dumas père, jules vernes, james fenimore cooper, arthur conan doyle, and louis boussenard, yet still was on the hunt for more adventure. captain blood lodged himself in my memory deepest of all them.